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Venus Optics reveals tiny Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO

November 29, 2021

Macro lens specialist Venus Optics has unveiled the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO; a small, lightweight lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras that offers twice life-size magnification. By using a shorter focal length and smaller maximum aperture, it’s about half the weight of the firm’s existing Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO and two-thirds of the length. Initially it’ll be available in Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony E and Leica M mounts, with the latter version being rangefinder-coupled, but more expensive as a result.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APOVenus optics is highlighting the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO

Venus Optics is highlighting the lens’s small size

Optically the lens employs a completely new design, with 13 elements in 9 groups, including 3 made from extra-low dispersion glass. According to Venus Optics, this allows colour fringing due to chromatic aberration to be essentially eliminated – hence the APO designation. The lens employs an internal focus design, with a minimum focus distance of just 16.3cm. Both focusing and aperture setting are manual.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO

An internal focus design means the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO doesn’t extend when set to its closest focus distance

Physically, the lens is remarkably compact, at 81mm long, 53mm in diameter, and weighing just 291g in its E-mount incarnation (RF and Z versions are fractionally larger and heavier). It uses filters a mere 46mm in diameter. The Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO is available to pre-order now in RF, Z and E-mount versions for £449.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO full specifications

This view of the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro APO on the EOS R6 highlights its compact dimensions

  • Price  £449 (RF, Z, FE mounts)
  • Filter Diameter  46mm
  • Lens Elements  13 (including 4 ED glass)
  • Groups  9
  • Diaphragm blades  7
  • Aperture  f/5.6 – f/22
  • Minimum focus  16.3cm
  • Length  81mm
  • Diameter  53mm
  • Weight  291g
  • Lens Mount  Canon RF, Leica M, Nikon Z, Sony E
  • Included accessories  Front and rear caps, hood
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